Staff Reporter | New Delhi
The Delhi High Court has rejected the plea of residents from a south Delhi colony to shift a mosque near their apartments but directed the police to ensure that devotees do not block roads while offering prayers. The Court also asked the devotees to offer prayers in the mosque and not to encroach the public road, parking area and lanes adjacent to Aravali Apartments in Alaknanda area.
A Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Sudarshan Mishra suggested that the management of the mosque could hold consultations with the DDA for making the mosque multi-storeyed to prevent blocking of roads and inconvenience to public. Disposing of a petition filed by Aravali Residents Welfare Association, the bench accepted the submissions made by Najmi Waziri, who appeared on behalf of the Delhi Wakf Board (DWB), that the mosque was situated on a land, which belonged to DWB more than a century before. He also said that people have been offering their prayers for the past several years and it was difficult to shift the mosque at this stage.
Filing a petition, residents alleged that the mosque -- Madni Masjid and Dargah -- has been illegally constructed on the public land and the devotees block roads and an adjacent parking lot, putting other resident to inconvenience. Seeking directions to stop the practice, the petitioners said the presence of a large population of devotees blocks the road meant for the residents of the apartment. According to the petitioner, in 1990 during the construction of their apartments some construction workers had made a temporary structure to offer prayers. But gradually a wall was erected illegally around it and the structure now occupies 275 square yards, the petitioners added.
With passage of time, hundreds of devotees started assembling here and started blocking roads, areas around the colony putting other local residents to inconvenience, the residents told the court.